12/14/2011 10:05 am ET

Christine O'Donnell: Romney Has 'Been Consistent Since He Changed His Mind,' Gingrich 'Unreliable'

Former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell took to CNN Wednesday morning to explain her recent decision to endorse Mitt Romney. In doing so, she managed to give him a backhanded compliment underscoring one of the primary concerns that Republicans have had with the former Massachusetts governor: his seemingly erratic positions on key conservative issues.

"That's one of the things that I like about him -- because he's been consistent since he changed his mind," O'Donnell said in response to a question about continued criticism of Romney's supposed flip-flopping. "I think that he's humble enough to say 'I don't always have the right answers.' And he's open to other viewpoints and if it doesn't betray his core convictions he'll make the necessary changes."

The Delaware Republican also got in a jab at current GOP primary frontrunner Newt Gingrich, advising Tea Party members to be wary of someone she painted as the ideal establishment candidate.

"Newt Gingrich has been inconsistent and unreliable, all the way down from cozying up on a couch with Nancy Pelosi to getting behind relentlessly Dede Scozzafava in New York 23," she said. "If you want to get behind Michele Bachmann, you want get behind Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, instead of Romney, ok, I can understand that. But not Newt Gingrich."

O'Donnell went on to clarify that her endorsement was personal and not on behalf of the Tea Party or any other political group, but said that she hoped her support for Romney might encourage Tea Party activists to give him a "second look."

On Tuesday, O'Donnell outlined her decision to enter Romney's corner:

"For me, this endorsement comes down to trust," said O'Donnell in a statement. "I am endorsing Governor Romney because I trust him to do the right thing. He has the strength of conviction to do the right thing regardless of opposition. America needs a president who is not a Washington Insider. America needs a president who hasn't been playing the game for the last three decades. America needs a president who can turn our economy around, put Americans back to work, and will lead with stability, integrity and the values that we hold dear. I am confident Mitt Romney will be that president."

Romney responded, touting his latest endorsement.

"Christine has been a leader in the conservative movement for many years," Romney said in a statement. "Christine recognizes that excessive government threatens us now and threatens future generations, and I am pleased to have her on my team."


Below, a look back on Christine O'Donnell's time in the spotlight:

Christine O'Donnell's Greatest Hits
Christine O'Donnell's Greatest Hits